Idiot Steals Amputated Toe from Bar, Ruins Canada’s Best Cocktail
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Idiot Steals Amputated Toe from Bar, Ruins Canada’s Best Cocktail

How dare you steal the toe we put in our drinks, sir? HOW DARE YOU!?!

This is a story about a toe; a detached, frostbitten and mummified human toe—a, if you will, Sourtoe. We here in Canada, well, we like to kiss it while we're driving booze into ourselves because we're a weird bunch who do weird things. Now you have to go north to get to this toe—it's located in Dawson City, Yukon—but if you follow your heart, listen to the wind, and hang a sharp left when you hit the North Pole you'll find it. It's not an easy trip but it's worth it as the Sourtoe is, undoubtedly, the most famous toe in Canada.


It's also a toe that some dickhead just stole.

The toe hangs out in the Dawson Hotel bar, the Sourdough Saloon, and if you put your lips on the line, you can get that frostbitten appendage dunked in your drink before slamming it. It's a nice, eccentric Canadian tradition—one that was tarnished this weekend when a man took this challenge and made off with the toe. Now, surprise surprise, it turns out that a dude who steals a beloved mummified toe may not be the sharpest tool in the shed. When you shoot the toe you have to sign a waiver so the hotel and Yukon RCMP have his name and all his details. That said, they're still not happy about it.

"We are furious," said Terry Lee, the Downtown Hotel's Toe Captain, in a press release. "This guy asked to do the toe after the 9-11 p.m. Toe Time hours and one of the new staff served it to him. And this is how he pays her back?

"What a low life."

The press release states that the man who stole the toe was a Quebecer who, like a dastardly villain, spoke openly of stealing the toe before doing so. The hotel said they are going to "fine and charge" the man unless the toe is returned safely.

But content writer, you ask, why is this such a big deal?

Well, I'll tell you. Legend has it that the first toe was freed from the foot of a miner (or Prohibition-era rum-runner depending on who you ask) by the name of Louie Liken in the 1920s after he suffered frostbite—Liken, for his troubles, kept the toe for the memories. About 50 years later, in 1973, a barge captain and bartender named Dick Stephenson found the toe while going through a cabin and brought it down to the local bar because that's how Yukoners do. While there he started dipping it in drinks and boom, the Sourtoe Cocktail Club was born. Originally the drink intended to be in a glass of champagne, but that has since changed to dunking that toe into whatever drink you want—now there is only one rule:


"You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow—but the lips have gotta touch the toe."

Prepping the Sourtoe cocktail. Photo via Flickr user TravelingOtter.

The toe is known across the country and the hotel says that around 69,000 people have had that sweet, sourtoe touch their lips since '73. Now, this is not the first time the toe has been trifled with. Liken's initial toe was drunk in 1980 when a man on his 13th Sourtoe Cocktail fell backwards in his chair and swallowed it. However, the most egregious example was in 2013 when a man drank the Sourtoe on purpose, paid the $500 fine the hotel has implemented and left. After this man's actions, the bar upped the fine to $2,500.

Now, even if we never get this jacked toe back (which we will, don't worry) all is not lost. The Sourtoe is an ideal—much like a superhero or luchador—for toes of all generations to strive to be and for the best in the toe world to take up the mantel. Over the years many toes have served their country—the Downtown Hotel makes sure to say that all these toes were acquired by donation. Even with that in mind, losing a toe is a big hit for the bar because, as you would imagine, getting your hands on a detached, frostbitten toe is not the easiest thing in the world.

"Toes are very hard to come by," said Lee. "And stunts like this adversely affect the whole community, not just the Downtown Hotel.

"We fortunately have a couple of backup toes but we really need this one back."

Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.